Over the weekend Russ Pope released his new zine, Life Lines alongside a bunch of his work at the Needles and Pens Gallery in SF. Some friends and I decided it was worth the four hour drive out of sleepy SLO, where art shows aren’t exactly inspiring (unless seashells and sunsets are your thing), especially since it was a limited release of only 50 zines.
For me, getting my hands on one of those zines was worth the trip. In a way, I feel like the folks who made their way to our shop last Wednesday, forming the longest line we’ve ever had here at SW, in hopes of getting their hands on a pair of the Diamond Dunks. Pure intentions and being super stoked on something is awesome no matter what. For me it’s a small book of original artwork from an artist whose doing something I appreciate and a chance to hang out in The Mission for a weekend. For some kids it’s shoes or Star Wars or Revenge of the Nerds or video games or whatever. Whatever floats your fucking boat is worth it.
The show was cool. The Needles and Pens gallery is what you’d expect from an art gallery in The Mission, filled with poignant and thought provoking things. The kind of expression you can only derive from a city like SF, or any major city for that matter, where diversity runs rampant and culture thrives, allowing an open minded perspective on creation and community and space. Needles and Pens focuses on handmade stuff, so you’re looking mostly at more zines as well as some odds and ends like baby clothes and jewelry. It’s located at 16th and Guerrero which is a super cool place to be hanging out. Almost even too cool. Anyway, we took some pics while we were there, ’cause duh.
We sat outside and finished our beers before we went in and got more.
I felt right at home.
Russ’s art is cool. He doesn’t stray far from his own style. Pieces covered the walls that consisted mostly of characters, all seemingly perceptive and strangely provoked. I feel like the characters within his pieces always seem like they have a lot on their minds, which comes across as sometimes lighthearted or kind of depressing. His work feels like it has a lot to say but isn’t so hung up on saying it. And I can appreciate that. It’s like the opposite of someone who talks too much.
Here we had a little SLO love. Russ is originally from San Luis Obispo and a lot of the guys here at SW know him, having all grown up together. I hadn’t met him before but had become familiar with his work since starting at SW and I’ve always been a fan girl for zines. Russ was appreciative of our presence and really nice to talk to.
Russ in front of one wall.
Life Lines is filled with images and correlating text. It’s short and sweet.
Needles and Pens had so much awesome stuff. And it was sweet when they let me use their bathroom.
A good crowd came out and overall the show was really fun. We had a great time catching up with some SF friends, chatting with Russ, drinking some beers and enjoying the city. Even the hungover four hour drive back home on Sunday was totally worth it, zine in tow.
Russ Pope has been an artist and a part of skateboarding forever. From starting Creature and Scarecrow Skateboards to his work with Vans, he’s been influential in a lot of ways. His newest project, Transportation Unit will be available at Skate Warehouse in the near future, so expect a blog post from one of the boys. Check out Russ’s website for more info.